Donald Trump got “rolled” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a National Security Council source with direct knowledge of the discussions told Newsweek.
In a scheduled phone call on Sunday afternoon between President Trump and President Erdogan, Trump said he would withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria. The phone call was scheduled after Turkey announced it was planning to invade Syria, and hours after Erdogan reinforced his army units at the Syrian-Turkish border and issued his strongest threat to launch a military incursion, according to the National Security Council official to whom Newsweek spoke on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. withdrawal plays into the hands of the Islamic State group, Damascus and Moscow, and the announcement left Trump’s own Defense Department “completely stunned,” said Pentagon officials. Turkey, like the United States, wants regime change in Syria. Russia and Iran support the Assad regime.
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the National Security Council source told Newsweek. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.” [Continue reading…]
President Trump faced a swift torrent of Republican criticism Monday as lawmakers rebuked his plan to withdraw troops from northeast Syria, a move Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said would undermine U.S. national security and potentially bolster Islamic State terrorists
McConnell (R-Ky.), in a rare public split with Trump, said that a supermajority in the Senate disagreed with the president’s abrupt withdrawal announcement, raising the specter of veto-proof action to oppose the decision.
“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell said in a statement Monday. “And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”
McConnell’s statement, in which he called on Trump to “exercise American leadership” and reconsider his plan to withdraw troops from Syria’s border with Turkey, echoes the comments of other Republicans who have condemned the president’s decision Monday. [Continue reading…]
Brian Kilmeade fights with his co-hosts over Trump throwing Syrian Kurds under the bus: "What kind of message is that to the next ally that wants to side with us? … All we did is arm them, and they did all the work. And now we say 'good luck. Good luck surviving.' Disaster." pic.twitter.com/ktyDqsM4lS
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) October 7, 2019
No matter what President Trump is saying about his decision, it is EXACTLY what President Obama did in Iraq with even more disastrous consequences for our national security.
Unlike President Obama, I hope President Trump will reassess and take sound military advice.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019
The consequences of such unreliability from the Oval will reverberate well beyond Syria. The value of an American handshake is depreciating. Trump today said we could “crush ISIS again" if it regenerated. With who? What allies would sign up? Who would fight on his assurances?
— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) October 7, 2019